Del and Sarah Simpson had always envisioned children as a fundamental part of their future. However, when illness impacted their ability to conceive biologically, the couple immediately recognized their calling and knew what steps to take.
“Fostering/adopting is something that has been on my heart for as long as I can remember,” said Sarah. “My husband has had cancer twice and due to that, it would make it difficult to have biological children. That was when I knew we should just move forward with fostering and/or adopting since it was something I felt called to do anyway.
“I work at a hair salon and my boss, Donald Stalnaker, was a long-time friend of Paul Johnson, who worked for Adelphoi,” she continued. “Years before my husband and I knew we couldn't have biological kids, I was speaking with Paul about what he did. I expressed interest in one day fostering or adopting and he gave me all of his contact info. I kept that info for years and when my husband and I were ready to move forward, I contacted Paul.”
Sarah acknowledged that she had no prior involvement with fostering or adopting and had not encountered anyone who had gone through the process. However, when she began to seriously consider becoming a foster parent, she had a conversation with a woman who was in the midst of adopting her foster child. This woman openly shared all the details, both positive and negative, which greatly motivated the couple to take the next step.
In 2018, the Simpsons, of Uniontown, went through the approval process and became certified foster parents. On Dec. 19, 2018, they welcomed Adyn into their home when he was only two-days-old. Just over a year later, the couple welcomed Adyn's biological sister, Davina, who entered their lives at just three-days-old.
“We bonded with Adyn and Davina immediately and knowing the home that they would have gone to was a dangerous situation, we were definitely wanting to adopt,” she said.
However, according to Sarah, the biological father posed significant obstacles as he was highly controlling and would intentionally delay court proceedings to prolong the process.
“The fact that he didn't genuinely care for these children, but only about control, has made these very long five years very difficult,” Sarah stated.
Despite these roadblocks, Sarah and Del remained steadfast in their commitment to providing the best for Adyn and Davina.
“The moment we found out the adoption date for Adyn was one of the best moments of our lives,” she exclaimed, noting the couple is now anxiously awaiting a date for Davina, as parental rights have been terminated.
Sarah encouraged other families to consider fostering, despite the obstacles they may encounter.
“Adelphoi has been amazing to work with,” she lauded. “Cathy (our caseworker) has been a godsend. I absolutely recommend Adelphoi to anyone interested in the fostering or adoption process.
“Go into it knowing as much about the system and laws set in place as you can. It is not for the weak, but the rewards are beyond what words could express,” said Sarah. “To know I'm able to show these children what love truly means, and give them a safe and happy place to live in, no matter how long, is priceless.”